There are various forms of business entities that can be registered under the laws of Ghana and it is therefore appropriate to choose the right legal structure that best serves your business intentions. These are the various forms of business registration under the laws of Ghana.
- Unlimited Liability Companies
- Limited Liability Companies
- Companies Limited by guarantee
- Sole Proprietorship
- Partnership firms
- External Company
With the automation at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), business registration has become fairly easy.
All business registration forms are downloadable at http://rgd.gov.gh/index.php/forms/ or on-sale at the RGD. Register your company in Ghana with ease, by simply following the steps outlined below:
Steps to Registering a Company Limited by shares in Ghana
STEP 1: Conduct a company name search at the Registrar General Department
The possibility of choosing the same name for your business as someone else is quite high. It is therefore very essential that you conduct a name search of your company at the Registrar General’s Department, to ensure that the name is available. Should the name be available, there is a period of thirty days during which the selected name can be reserved, upon request.
The name of your business is key, as it should reflect the nature of your business or at least be relevant to your business activities. The Registrar General’s Department is highly likely to reject any names that sound offensive or too similar to other existing businesses.
STEP 2: Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) registration for all company directors, secretary and shareholders
Download TIN forms @ http://rgd.gov.gh/wpcontent/uploads/2015/12/Taxpayer-registration-form-individual.pdf . All company directors, secretary and shareholders are required to register and obtain a TIN for the purposes of business registration. Complete TIN forms and attach a copy of photo ID (Drivers, passport bio-data, voters ID). TIN numbers are created within 24 to 48 hours at no charge at any Ghana Revenue Authority office.
TIN numbers can also be created for corporate organizations This situation becomes necessary when the shares of the company being registered are held by a corporate entity. In such a scenario, the corporate organization will obtain a TIN Form for Organizations and dully complete same and attach a letter of introduction. A TIN number will subsequently be created for the corporate shareholder.
All persons or organisations are required to have one TIN number for all their registered businesses; in case you decide to register more than one business entity or you serve as a director on several business organisations. Information required to complete an individual TIN form include;
- Photo ID details
- Mother’s maiden name
- Residential and postal address (Digital/Ghana Post Address of the company)
STEPS 3 : Complete form 3, form 4 and Company Regulations
These forms can be accessed on http://rgd.gov.gh/index.php/forms/ and require information such as company name, contact, business objectives, principal place of business, stated capital, postal address, auditor’s details as well as personal details of the director, secretary and shareholders.
Some vital information required to complete the forms includes:
- Company name
- Registered address
- Postal address
- Principal place of business
- Business objects or activities
- auditors’ details
- Authorized and issued shares
- Stated capital
- Shareholding structure
- Personal details of directors, secretary and shareholders (nationality, date of birth, occupation, residential address)
According to the Companies Act 1963, Act 179, all c0mpanies are required to have at least two initial directors and a secretary during the company registration process. At least one of the company directors or secretaries must be resident in Ghana. After forms are duly completed, the directors, secretary and shareholders have to append their signatures on relevant pages before submission.
STEP 4: Making the required payment:
After filling the forms with the needed details, there is a need to submit the forms at the nearest Registrar General around your region. There are two main statutory fees to be paid and these fees are:
*incorporation and filing fees
* stamp duty: which is 0.5% of the company’s stated capital.
NOTE: The minimum stated capital for Limited Liability company owned by a Ghanaian is 500 cedis.
STEP 5: Pick up business registration certificates
Upon submission of forms, one should expect to have the process completed in less than a month thus between 2 to 4 weeks, after which the following documents will be issued;
- Certificate of incorporation
- Certificate of commencement ` `
- Form 3 & 4
- Company regulations
These are the legal documents of proof of company’s existence in Ghana. The documents will indicate clearly the business name, activities, business address, directors’ details, company TIN as well as shareholders information among others. The business certificates can be used for any business transaction or open a corporate bank account with any of the commercial banks in Ghana.
Can a foreign investor start a company in Ghana?
Yes, any foreigner can start a company in Ghana as long as that investor has valid paperwork and right financial backup.
Can a foreign Company open a branch in Ghana?
Yes a foreign company can open a branch in Ghana with 2 options, thus as a Ghanaian company or either as extension of the foreign company.